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CASE STUDY

Information Systems Strategy Development

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Selwood Housing

Selwood Housing IT Strategy

Introduction

In developing an effective IS strategy it is important to focus on the information needed to run the business rather than the technology used to hold this information.  Technology issues are, of course, important but they need to be addressed as part of an overall Information Strategy rather than as an end in themselves.

Selwood Housing is a not-for-profit housing association with over 5,000 properties in the Wiltshire area available for renting at affordable prices. They recognised that there was a need to create a business-driven Information Systems strategy which would provide a platform for meeting its strategic and operational targets over the next five years.

The Challenge

It was important that the new IS Strategy should provide a concise statement of what/why/how and to be written in simple terms which were accessible by a wide range of people from across the business.  Ownership, commitment and support for the new strategy were secured by fully engaging staff in the development process.

“I’m very pleased, we have got a completely new IS strategy. The Consultancy Company really involved our people in a series of workshops to create this”

Barry Hughes, Chief Executive, Selwood Housing

Most importantly the strategy had to show clear and demonstrable benefits in the areas of business performance, staff & tenant satisfaction and compliance.

Our Approach

We believe that the most effective way of developing a strategy which is understood, supported and owned by the business as a whole is through openness and inclusivity.  Our approach initially centred on a series of workshops to which key staff from Selwood Housing were invited.  The workshop style represented the most efficient way of eliciting people’s views and gaining their commitment.  It also maximised the opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas leading to a better and more complete overall solution.

Early sessions concentrated on identifying the key building blocks for the future IS landscape.  These were distilled into a draft strategy which enabled us to design further workshops which identified, and quantified, the key business benefits.

The Solution

The strategy produced by this process identified an IS landscape based upon a number of strategic themes as follows:
  • Use IS to drive tangible business benefits.
  • Improve the quality of data available to the business.
  • Improve the ease of use of data within the business.
  • Reduce paperwork.
  • Improve reporting & analysis capability.
  • Develop an off-site access and update capability.
  • Web enablement.

We particularly liked their open and flexible approach and the fact that they did everything they said they would do on time”

Barry Hughes, Chief Executive, Selwood Housing

 

The Results

The strategy is supported by a business case which demonstrates clear benefits by:
  • Improving business performance through increased revenue, reduced costs and improved cash flow.
  • Improving tenant satisfaction by delivering a better informed, more responsive service.
  • Improving staff satisfaction by equipping them with the tools to allow them to focus their efforts on more productive activities.
  • Ensuring compliance with legal and accreditation requirements.
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